Iraqi Politician Ahmad Chalabi Dies

Iraqi Politician Ahmad Chalabi DiesIraqi Politician Ahmad Chalabi Dies

Ahmed Chalabi, the man who championed the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, died of a heart attack, Iraqi state TV announced Tuesday. He was 71. Chalabi was a key player in former US president George W. Bush administration’s controversial bid to build a case for the ouster of Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein, AFP reported.

Details of the 71-year-old Iraqi politician’s death were sketchy. Iraqi state TV announced Tuesday that Chalabi died of a heart attack in Baghdad.

According to Iraqi parliamentarian Haitham al-Jabouri, who is also secretary of parliament’s financial panel which Chalabi had chaired, attendants found him dead in bed in his Baghdad home.  Chalabi was a close ally of Washington neoconservatives such as Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith in the lead-up to the 2003.

Living in exile as head of the Iraqi National Congress, which opposed Saddam Hussein, Chalabi became a White House favorite after he provided information that supported the US justification for invading Iraq in 2003.

But he lost favor after the invasion when much of his information regarding Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Qaeda turned out to be false. Corruption allegations also dogged Chalabi in several countries, particularly in Jordan, where he was sentenced in absentia to prison for financial fraud.